Murray gives Queensland a helping hand


HE MAY be a Blue to his core, but New South Wales State of Origin mentor Graham Murray will help kickstart the career of some of Queensland?s most promising coaches this weekend.

As part of the North Queensland Cowboys? whole-hearted contribution to this year?s QRL Summer Coaching Camp in Townville, Murray is set to address 30 Level II coaches at Golf Links Drive on Sunday.

Passing on the benefits of his experience on both sides of the globe, Murray will be joined by the likes of Ian Millward, Kelly Egan, Grant Bell, Matt Parish and Glen Murphy in speaking to the eager participants.

While it?s unlikely the king of the Cockroaches will share any Blues? secrets, he and Cowboys staff will deliver a challenging and practical program for the Level II aspirants.

Cowboys head conditioner Murphy, trained by rigid taskmaster Billy Johnstone, has already signaled his intention to put the coaches through ice baths, stretching routines and other physical drills to enhance their education.

The baptism of fire for the coaches sees them begin the camp prior to Monday?s influx of junior players, some of whom will travel from as far as Palmerston in the Northern Territory.

On the first day the children are to be greeted by past and present Cowboys Jacob Lillyman, James Andersen and Daniel Strickland.

A State of Origin debutant this year, Lillyman will speak of his own experiences travelling from outback Richmond to QRL Summer Camps in his youth.

Meanwhile Andersen and Strickland will talk about balancing life and football.

Yet to make his NRL debut, 20-year-old Andersen is working towards a career in education, while recently-retired Strickland has been a successful personal trainer for a number of years.

The input of the Cowboys into this year?s camp is all-encompassing.

Among 20-odd players set to appear at the camp next week (December 18-22) are stars Matt Bowen, Paul Bowman, Carl Webb, Jason Smith and Ty Williams.

Held at James Cook University, this year?s Townsville Summer Camp completely booked out within three weeks, with most places taken on the opening days.

The Toowoomba Summer Camp, which runs concurrently at the University of Southern Queensland, is also fully booked and will feature appearances by both Brisbane Broncos and Gold Coast Titans personnel.

A combined 560 juniors, coaches and first aid officers will attend the camps, a record since they began in 1985 with instructors which included Wayne Bennett, John Monie and Roy Masters.